If you use WordPress, you’ve probably heard about “block” themes. WordPress block themes differ from their regular counterparts because they’re templates made of blocks. That characteristic makes them much easier to edit than classic themes, where you need to use code to change their layouts and designs.
There are a lot of additional benefits to using block themes. Understanding these features will enable you to choose whether to stick with your current theme or switch to a block option. Spoiler: if you enjoy using the Block Editor, you’ll probably want to opt for the latter.
In this article, we’re going to talk about five benefits of using WordPress block themes. Let’s start with the biggest one, which is code-free editing!
1. Enjoy Code-Free Editing
If you’ve ever had to edit a theme in the past, you’ll know that this process often involves digging into files using File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and text editors. You need to know exactly what each component of the theme does before making any changes. Additionally, you’ll have to use child themes to avoid losing your customizations.
Block themes do away with that messy approach by supporting what WordPress calls “Full-Site Editing”. This feature replaces the theme editor in WordPress and lets you edit templates using the Block Editor:
The editor enables you to create and modify page templates, as well as template “parts”. By parts, we mean elements such as theme headers and footers. You can customize them using blocks and decide on which pages each variation will display:
Keep in mind that you can’t add or remove any content while editing theme templates. The template editor only lets you modify your site’s layout. Therefore, you’ll still need to edit posts and pages to adjust any content.
2. Get Access to Pre-Designed Block Patterns
WordPress patterns are block arrangements that you can save and reuse on other pages and posts. One advantage of using block themes is they often include an array of ready-to-go patterns for your website:
These patterns can speed up your design process significantly. Instead of building everything from scratch, you’ll be able to insert patterns and customize them to fit your needs.
It’s important to note that you don’t need to use a block theme to access patterns. You’re able to create and save patterns with any theme that works with the Block Editor. However, accessing pre-built options out of the box can make your work much more manageable.
3. Avoid Page Builder Bloat
Page builders are among the most popular and useful WordPress tools. Many page builders offer features that neither the Classic nor the Block Editor support. For a long time, these tools provided the only alternative to editing theme templates manually.
If you’ve been using page builders because they enable you to edit theme templates and designs, block themes will allow you to say goodbye to them. This can help improve site performance because many page builders add a lot of “bloat” to the page code.
Thanks to the Block Editor and full-site editing, the base WordPress experience is now close to what page builder plugins offer. Some of these tools provide additional features, though, so your mileage can vary.
4. Use Fewer Plugins
Page builders aren’t the only types of plugins you can avoid by using block themes. There’s nothing wrong with using plugins per se (in fact, WordPress plugins are amazing), but it’s best to stick to only the ones you really need.
Using too many plugins may slow down your website, both on the front and the back end, making it much harder to update. Moreover, the more plugins you use, the more likely you’ll encounter compatibility issues at some point.
Without block themes or full-site editing, you may need to rely on plugins to customize the header and footer and configure different versions of these elements for each page. Even page builders such as Elementor require you to use additional plugins to edit these templates:
Anything that enables you to reduce the number of plugins on your website without losing out on key functionality is a win. Block themes meet that criteria.
5. Future-Proof Your Website
Right now, block themes are still relatively new to the WordPress ecosystem. There are plenty of options to choose from, but the vast majority of the available WordPress themes are not block-enabled:
Even though block themes are new on the scene, that doesn’t mean you should avoid using them. Most new themes will likely rely on block templates in the coming years, and full-site editing will become much more commonplace.
That means you’ll get access to new features and tools that will enable you to customize our site and themes without relying too much on plugins. The earlier you switch to block themes, the more ready you’ll be when these new features roll out in the future.
When the Block Editor launched in 2018, many users thought it was a gimmick. Blocks have come a long way since then, and they’ve become an integral part of the WordPress experience. Using WordPress now feels as intuitive as any modern page builder tool, and block themes are part of that evolution.
As early adopters of the block editor, we also wanted to get familiar with the new Site Editor. This resulted in two new Block Themes being added to our collection: UniBlock and EduBlock.
Our new Block Themes are available in both free and premium versions. The free versions can be downloaded from the official theme repository.
If you’re still on the fence about switching to a block theme, let’s recap the main benefits of making that change:
- Enjoy code-free editing.
- Get access to pre-designed block patterns.
- Avoid page builder bloat.
- Use fewer plugins.
- Future-proof your website.
Do you have any questions about WordPress block themes? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!
Block Themes vs. Classic Themes